GOOD RIDDANCE, 2017. So, we’re bringing this twilight-zone-of-a-year to a close, huh? Well, that’s the best thing I can say about it. It’s coming to an end. I expected 2017 to be rough; challenging at best, but it’s been way more disturbing and disheartening than I would have predicted. In many ways, just sad. To witness, in real time, the unraveling of our country has been, at best, morbidly intriguing, but certainly not worth the thrill. The actions of the reigning administration and the behavior of its primary cast of characters have either been so brilliant they’re simply beyond my pea brain OR “what you see is what you get.” Either possibility is terrifying. Evil genius or clueless idiot? Who do you prefer flying the plane? A competent, compassionate pilot is not an option. But, enough of this. I am not a big fan of year-end roundups and I doubt anyone needs to be reminded about what just happened. However, I will say this. I have put Alabama on my list of vacation destinations. I want to reward that state for providing one of the few bright moments of 2017 and check into a mom and pop motel and tell mom or pop, “I’m staying at your fine establishment because you did not send Roy Moore to the Senate. Thank you for your service to our country. Keep up the good work! Also, where are the vending machines and is it possible to get a late checkout?” Whatever, time doesn’t stand still. Behold! It’s a brand-new year to screw up. Just think of how much more wealth the super-rich will shamelessly glue to themselves in 2018. Government is being replaced by a handful of people who simply own everything. Ultimate capitalism. Just like Russia.
BEST SONG OF 2017: “Some Good People (On Both Sides)” by The Two Corinthians.
DARK CLOUDS AHEAD? The USA pulls out of the Paris Climate Accord and is slammed by three devastating hurricanes in the same year. Coincidence? Are we on the right path? Does the supreme leader even know how to read?
BIG NON-STOP OIL AND GAS PARTY. Well, local news is encouraging. It appears Denton is one of the most-fracked cities in the entire country. Yet, a couple of years ago we voted to ban fracking in the city limits. Our governor told us we could not do that and, apparently, has punished us for being so self-centered and caring about our air and groundwater quality. Shame on us.
EXCITING NEW TV GAME SHOW: The True Christians vs. The Evangelical Devil Worshippers. Who will win the battle for the Jesus’ approval? Who will look into his or her own heart and freak out when he or she realizes he or she might actually be going to hell because he or she hasn’t given any real attention to the teachings of Jesus, much less, lived accordingly? High drama for believers and posers, alike.
Rational Human (pointing to a Bible): You know, if you, indeed, believe in such a mystically miserable place as hell, I would think you would be working pretty hard to avoid it, by at least understanding what it takes to not wind up there.
Scary Christian (clutching nunchucks): Damn straight, asshole!
Rational Human: Remember how upset everyone was when the moderate Muslims didn’t speak up enough to condemn the radical Muslim’s view of Islam? Don’t you think the moderate Christians should be the loudest voices in the room, taking on the far-right Evangelicals?
Moderate Christian: Don’t look at me!
Now that I have all of that out of my system I would like to remind you Brave Combo is a band. Here’s a song we released in Japan about 25 years ago. This proves we try to make music.
We’ll sorta be on vacation for a couple of months, but when we’re not self-indulging in one way or another or snorkeling or buying cat litter or cleaning cat litter or changing cat litter, we’ll be working on a bunch of new songs and sounds. We’ve already discovered about 25 of them (sounds and songs), mostly in dark, forgotten corners. There is still so much not being done and still so much to inspire us to “do something different.” Maybe now, more than ever.
Joe Cripps’ Birthday Party is Friday, January 5th, 2018 at Dan’s Silverleaf in Denton. Joe has been missing for 14 months. He played percussion with Brave Combo, both as a band member and as a sideman, for several years. This will be a celebration of his life and a reminder that we still need to know what happened to him. Lots of friends and musicians who played with Joe, including Brave Combo, will be attending and performing. We all hope to get some answers in 2018.
Brave Combo was mentioned in the book, THE GREAT JAZZ AND POP VOCAL ALBUMS, for our album with Tiny Tim, GIRL, on Rounder. The author, Will Friedwald, states that the album is probably Mr. Tim’s best, following his initial releases on Reprise. Mr. Friedwald is obviously very intelligent. It’s nice to be acknowledged.
Okay 2017, get the beep-beep out of here and don’t come back. And 2018, you are officially on notice. Here’s to our shaky future! Good luck to all you fellow worry warts! Did you know we have Brave Combo Stress Balls for sale?